A lot of the Protestant denominations like to disparage the Catholics for our "smells and bells," that is to say, our candles, statuary, incense, etc. that decorate our churches and enhance our liturgy. "God," they say, "doesn't need that. It's distracting. People should be listening to the Word . . ."
While acting as a second shooter for a friend this past weekend at a local Baptist church, he remarked on the large, expensive video cameras and the elaborate lighting in the main sanctuary. "Man, they could have an Aerosmith concert in here . . ." he said. Lights, music, and yes, even jumbotrons - because their services are multi-media affairs. Don't get me wrong - this was no church with a simple PA system but one with really elaborate and sophisticated audio and video systems.
Which all serve to . . . do what? I am sure the answer, if the question were to be asked, as a tool for evangelization and to aid the congregation in their worship.
In short . . . the same reason for our smells and bells. To involve all the senses in worship. Because God deserves the whole of us.
I was thinking about that as I sat at Mass today. St. Albert the Great is lovely in its Easter finery. My son served for the first time at this church, and by sheer coincidence, there were two altar boys and a deacon on the altar, all named Patrick. What are the odds of that?